Bits: £787 in Business to Bangkok and other silly Qatar fares, Kaligo promo ending, Amex 2015 FHR brochure

More news in brief:

Qatar Airways launching Amsterdam with more silly fares

Qatar Airways will fly from Amsterdam to Doha from June 16th.  This is a new route and will be served by a Boeing 787 featuring the latest impressive 1-2-1 business class seating which I reviewed here and which is pictured below.

To kick off the service, Qatar is offering some very attractive launch fares based on two people travelling together.  Quoted fares are, per person:

  • Dubai €1010 (£743)
  • Bangkok €1070 (£787)
  • Phuket €1195 (£879)
  • Maldives €1895 (£1395)
  • Bali €1625 (£1196)
  • Hong Kong €1340 (£986)
  • Singapore €1670 (£1230)
  • Tokyo €1470 (£1082)
  • Kuala Lumpur €1465 (£1078)

Other destinations are also available. Note that this is the average price for two people travelling.  If you search for one person you will not see this pricing.

The deadline for booking tomorrow, 28th March.

Remember that these fares earn Avios and BA tier points.  Most of the Asian routes will generate 560 tier points  return!

You can book for travel up to 31st August.  You need to book via the Qatar Airways website here to get these fares – they will not be on Expedia etc.  Don’t forget to select Amsterdam as your departure point.  (Thanks to Sean)

Qatar 787 350 business class

Kaligo promotion ending on Tuesday – last chance to book

A quick reminder that the current hotel booking promotion ends on Tuesday.  If you have already made a booking with them during February or March, you might want to squeeze in another one to hit a higher bonus threshold.

You earn the following Avios bonuses for your combined spend in February and March:

3,000 Avios if you spend £250

10,000 Avios if you spend £500

20,000 Avios if you spend £1,000

Full details are in this article.  You have until January 2016 to complete your booked stays.

Four Seasons Hampshire

Amex ‘Fine Hotels & Resorts’ brochure for 2015 now online

Finally, if you have an American Express Platinum card, you’ll be interested to know that the 2015 Fine Hotels & Resorts directly is now available online.  The link is here.

FHR, as it is known, offers Platinum holders special deals at top hotels across the world.  You receive free breakfast, a GUARANTEED 4pm check-out, free wi-fi, potentially an upgrade at check-in and usually a credit of $100 or so towards your food and drink spending.

Four Seasons Hampshire, pictured above, is a hotel I often book via FHR.  The guaranteed 4pm check-out means you can make the most of a weekend break.

The free wi-fi is a new benefit for 2015 as I originally revealed here.

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Amex retains the British Airways credit card contract
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  1. Adam W says:

    If this is the same QR deal as the one as posted on Flyertalk on Tuesday, it’s perhaps worth pointing out that tickets must be booked by the end of tomorrow!

    • Thanks Adam, added in. I knew they ended tomorrow but for some reason it didn’t make it into the article!

      • Also, don’t bother wasting your time searching for Asia after August! Back to normal prices from early September! Sadly, quite fancied an extra trip to Phuket in November !

        • James67 says:

          Polly, 2-3 weeks back I saw it for about £1090 with AY exARN and OSL. Turkish was also offering BKK exARN for just under £1000. Might be worth a quick look on skyscanner.

  2. erico1875 says:

    Slightly off topic, but re Qatar, I am flying on a business class Avios booking. 16 hr transit overnight in Doha..
    I read that Qatar put you up in a hotel for long transits.
    Will this apply to my reward booking?

    • No, and it only applies if there is not a shorter connection (even if that connection is sold out).

    • No, not reward bookings, but worth phoning the UK QR privilege club to ask them. Doubt it though. You can book their transit hotel for a fee, which allows you a transit visa, so you can go out and about during your stay over. Probably your best choice.

  3. 560 TPs for the Asian destinations is a decent haul too

  4. JamesWag says:

    Damn all you happy couples, what about us singletons 🙁

  5. Also, Finnair is selling £800ish business class tickets to Chongqing!
    Available from both Machester and London.

  6. MartinT says:

    Thanks Raffles, that’s me and my wife booked to BKK in August, and flying out on my XXth birthday too 🙂
    Now to find a babysitter for a week!

  7. I have just booked 3 Business class flights from AMS to KL in the summer for £3100 with a decent stopover in Dohar at the IC. You can also get these prices on SkyScanner and it does show expedia etc. However I stuck with the Qatar site.

    Because of this I have cancelled my flights to Washinton DC this summer booked with avios and a BA 2-4-1 voucher and got it all back minus the cancellation cost. I’m now going to see what I can book prior to the “doom” date at the end of April.

    • I’ve done similar, cancelled an Avios 2-4-1 to Dubai with BA and bought tickets with Qatar. However, rather than booking from AMS, under the same promotion I fly from Brussels and the fares are even cheaper – £667 Business Class for BRU-DOH-DXB return. Worth also noting that DOH-DXB is classed as First Class (A Bucket) and therefore you get access to the Qatar First Class lounge in DOH (although seats on the 787/330 on the route are in fact just the regular med haul business)

      • Although I believe they have just downgraded the food to Business Class standard! What are they flying out of Brussels? If it is an Airbus or 777 I would pay the (minimal) extra for the 787 out of Amsterdam.

      • Is the First Class lounge in DOH even open yet? Last I heard it was constantly being delayed – mildly annoying as I have a trip in QR First in April…

  8. Off-topic, but then, this is a bits article….I’ve just learned that Finnair Plus points can be converted into Accor points at a ration of 7:1. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I found it interesting that you can convert airline points into hotel points – normally, it’s the other way round.

    Details of ths, and a special offer, at

    Might be a good way for some to up their status…

    • Not worth it unless you value AY+ points under €0.0029 each. You can also transfer VS points to Hilton.

    • It only works because of the status tweak – pretty awful deal otherwise for anyone who is not status chasing. What I don’t understand is why Accor does this with just one airline, and picks Finnair!

    • It seems the bonus points don’t have to be transferred to Accor? Everyone could register for double miles then.

      7:1 is paltry, but it may be an easy way to extend expiry or reach the elite threshold.

  9. pauldb says:

    Another bit: think about paying your council tax by credit card. Some council make zero charge, mine is £2.50 per transaction. Particularly timely if you have a bmi credit card with an earning rate that drops on 31st March.

  10. Geoggy says:

    I’m sure there were more UK hotels than in the new FHR brochure. The Lowry in Manchester is one I can think of not in the new brochure

    • It may be in the UK Hotel Collection brochure, search HFP for my article on that.

      Rocco Forte sold The Lowry and it may have dropped in quality – they struggled to get the room rates needed to operate as a five star.

  11. Just booked this deal to Bangkok too tempting !
    Never flown with Qatar which loyalty scheme should I sign up to ?

    • If you are in the UK, crediting to BA makes most sense. You would be very close to BA Silver with an Asian flight.

      • Thanks
        Anyone know if Qatar have a lounge in Amsterdam ?

        • I would guess, for one flight a day, they are using someone else’s.

        • Sorry to be thick Raffles – but does this also mean if I buy a Qatar business flight to Asia from LHR as a Blue – I get nearly enough points for silver? I can’t really face the thought of coming home via AMS after a change in the Gulf.

        • Sorry to jump in: yes you would – I imagine it would be 560 points for a return flight from London to Asia, and you need 600 for Silver so yes.

          However for the avoidance of doubt, there are no discount fares from London. The discount fares apply to journeys starting in Amsterdam, as a promotional event to celebrate the opening of the Amsterdam – Doha route. E.g. Amsterdam to Bangkok is about £1600 for 2 people; London to Bangkok on the same dates is £3,700.

        • Many thanks – I did realise that the offer was only from AMS but I was being lazy – now I’ve crunched the numbers I think it’s Tulip Time.

        • That offer closes tonight remember!

  12. Awesome. I’m Looking down the barrel of at least £600 in seat booking charges this year as a lowly blue. This should get me silver, which makes the real cost of some of these routes less than the economy equivalent. Thanks.

    • Bugger. I thought I had 80 tier points this year and I did, but the year ran out about a week ago. Whoops! That means I need to find 40 more tier points. I guess paying a full cash CE fare to Amsterdam is the best bet.